2021 NFL Draft rumor: New Orleans Saints trying to trade into top 10

Pride of Detroit

The New Orleans Saints may be looking to throw an entire wrench into the top 10 of the 2021 NFL Draft. As first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and later corroborated by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the Saints—who currently hold the 28th pick—are reportedly exploring trades that would move them into the top 10.

“My understanding is the New Orleans Saints have been one of the, let’s say, loudest and most active teams calling other teams looking at potential big moves up the draft board, and they’ve even called about potentially getting in the top 10,” Rapoport said on NFL Network Thursday morning.

Why exactly the Saints are considering a drastic trade up like that isn’t exactly clear. Obviously, an aggressive move like that would seem to imply a desire for a quarterback. With Drew Brees now retired, the Saints may not feel all that comfortable in the future with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston.

However, Glazer shot that idea down in a subsequent tweet:

The other prevailing theory is for a cornerback.

“The only real need-need the Saints have right now is at left cornerback,” Rapoport said. “So could they be coming all the way up for a corner? Possibly.”

However, Rapoport’s colleague Jane Slater hinted that it may be for something “a little more interesting,” but did not elaborate. ESPN’s Dianna Russini threw her reporting into the mix, as well:

Regardless, the Saints social media team is having a little fun with the news:

Obviously, there needs to be a discussion about the Detroit Lions here, because they’re a team that has several coaches from the Saints and may have a good working relationship with Sean Payton and company. They’re also a team that has reportedly been the hungriest team in the top 10 to trade down.

But would trading down to 28 be too much for Brad Holmes and company?

If you’re wondering what kind of haul it may take to make this trade, look no further than 10 years ago when the Atlanta Falcons went from Pick 26 to 6 by trading with the Cleveland Browns. Here’s what that trade looked like:

Falcons received:

  • Pick 6 (Julio Jones)

Browns received:

  • Pick 26
  • Pick 56 (Round 2)
  • Pick 124 (Round 4)
  • 2012 first-round pick (turned out to be 22)
  • 2012 fourth-round pick (118)

Would the Lions be willing to trade down to 28 if they got the Saints’ second (Pick 60), fourth (Pick 133), and next year’s first and fourth? That’s a significant haul, but you’d be passing on at least the first two tiers of talent in this year’s class.

For what it’s worth, the Falcons ended up winning that trade by a large margin. But is that because they were aggressive or simply because the Browns screwed the pooch with all that draft capital?

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